Authors: Tiffany Clare
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Regency, #Historical
He didn’t budge. With one last droll look and raised brow, he spread the lips of her private area and blew a cool stream of air on the sensitive bundle of nerves at her center.
“Leo,” she protested, but as his tongue flicked out, her head fell back on the pillows in surrender. Her legs cradled his wide shoulders as he went to work tasting every part of her.
Her fingers tangled and tightened in his hair the longer his tongue swirled around the swollen bud of pleasure at her core.
“Don’t ever stop,” she said.
His chuckle vibrated around the bud of her sex, sending a fresh wave of carnal awareness through her body and causing every nerve ending to reel with desire. Bringing her to the sweet precipice that would catapult her into another orgasm, Leo pulled away a moment shy of that apex and slid his cock deep inside her body again.
His pace was more frantic now than it had been before but no less delicious. His mouth devoured hers, tongue thrusting deep and matching the tempo of his body pounding inside her.
His hand reached between them so his thumb could flick against the nub of her sex. When another wave of pure ecstasy washed through her body, Leo pulled out with a soft curse and took his cock in hand. She folded her hand over his, pumping with him until his seed spurted out from between their entwined fingers.
When their hands stilled, he pecked her lips with his as he stood from the bed. He disappeared behind a door for a moment.
After a short rush of water, he returned to the bed with a dampened towel. She hadn’t the energy to move as he took her hands and wiped them clean then let him press the warm cloth between her legs to wash away the stickiness from their lovemaking.
Tossing the cloth in the general direction of the room he’d retrieved it from, he joined her on the bed and gathered her up in his arms with his chest to her back and his arm snaked around her front.
“You can sleep for a while.” He tucked her head between his chest and shoulder.
“I couldn’t possibly risk it,” she said.
“We have some hours left. I won’t sleep.”
She arched her back, stretching contentedly with a yawn. “How can you not sleep after that?”
He caressed her from stomach to breast and squeezed her hip to draw her back into his groin. His revived arousal pressed against her backside.
“Oh.” She turned to face him on the bed. “I can’t possibly sleep with you being in such a state.”
His smile was ten kinds of wicked as he suckled her lip into his mouth.
“I did tell you that ambrosia was hard to resist after taking the first sip.”
Genny wrapped her arms around his shoulders and gave him a smile she hoped matched his in sensuality. “And I never disagreed.”
* * *
After Leo helped Genny put her clothes back on, she sat on the edge of his bed brushing out her long hair with her fingers and trying to put it back in order. When she reached the end of the long braid she’d put it in, she looked around his disheveled bed for the tie. It was currently tucked in his trouser pocket as a token of their night together, but he wouldn’t tell her that.
“I think it’s well and truly lost,” he said.
She shrugged. “I have more in my room. I just hope the maids don’t find it. You know how they talk.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it.”
“I’m not. I just don’t want anyone to find us out.”
“They won’t. I promised you they wouldn’t.” He held his hand out to her. “We have to get you off to your own room, princess. The servants will be up and about before we know it.”
“It’s half past three in the morning. Who in their right mind would get up at this hour?”
He gave her an amused laugh. “The maids to light the braziers for one.”
“It’s summer; there is no need.”
“Yes, but you never know who else might be wandering the halls after a late-night assignation.” He waggled his brows suggestively.
“You mean aside from us?”
“Absolutely. I can think of a few guests who might be otherwise engaged with someone who is not their spouse.”
“It’s one of my better traits.”
He patted her rear, wishing they could stay here all night and the next morning. But for now, she really did need to return to the safety of her own room.
Leo walked her to the door, wearing only his trousers. She pressed both her palms against his chest and brushed up against him with a sultriness that had him hardening in an instant, despite their many exertions already. If only it were possible for her to stay the night.
It was late, and they would both be tired in the morning, but every part of tonight made it worth the long day to follow. He grasped her around the waist to tug her closer and lowered his mouth to hers, just sipping at her lips instead of consuming as he wanted to. Because if he did that he’d haul her back into his bed and stay there for the remainder of the week.
“What of tomorrow night?” he asked.
“We have all of the day to get through first.” She yawned in perfect demonstration of just how tired she was.
“Do you want to meet in the maze tomorrow night? It’ll offer more privacy. And you can be as loud as you like. It’ll be a bit like old times, too.”
“What if we are far too exhausted to even contemplate another night awake?”
He raised one brow in disbelief. “You’re as insatiable as I. I’ll make it worth your while.” He held her hands, not wanting her to escape without committing to spending another evening with him.
“Let us see what the day brings us first.”
“Perfect. I’ll spend the day convincing you that you want nothing more than to repeat everything we did tonight.”
And because he couldn’t resist, he tapped her bottom once again as he opened the first door of his chamber. “I’ll see you at the breakfast table.” Opening the second door, he peered down the hall to make sure it was empty. “It’s clear. Go.”
She gave him one last kiss before looking down the hall as he had and running with all the grace of a dancer to her room and shuttering herself quickly inside.
He did one more look up and down the hall to make sure no one was hiding in the shadows. No one was around. Quietly shutting the door behind him, he fell into bed and didn’t even bother to undress. Marks would wake him up in time for breakfast. He had to make an appearance in case Genny didn’t make it down.
Still, he’d not spend the morning in his room trying to catch up on sleep; he had to go over his strategy and numbers with Carleton tomorrow for the upcoming vote.
They would be heading back to Town for summer Parliament meetings on the sugar import act come August. But before then, they were set to meet with a number of undecided voters at his club, to see if they could be convinced to stand up against Ponsley and his majority in the House of Lords. He also needed to figure out what to do about Jez, but that issue could be taken care of when he returned to London.
The one thing to keep my pen surely scribbling is to offer up a scandal to my readers. Two weeks into the C
s’ house party, and not a whisper of rumor about the guests has been offered to date. Something will surely come my way soon. And the moment it does, I know my readers will be giddy with excitement to read the gossip here first.
The Mayfair Chronicles, July 31, 1846
Genny had been sitting at her vanity for more than an hour now. To say she was tired was an understatement. Though she and Leo had been up the majority of the night, they had also slept for a short time. Well, she had slept for a while, and Leo had awakened her to make love one more time before she had to return to her room. Her heart beat faster in her chest recalling to memory the things they’d indulged in. She didn’t regret her choice in going to him for one moment.
A soft rap on the door to her room helped to refocus her thoughts. It was most likely Charlotte, ready to start breakfast, and see what the day ahead held for them.
Charlotte’s smile was bright as she opened the door, but her obvious giddiness slipped as she assessed Genny’s face. “You look as though you didn’t sleep a wink.”
“Last night was fitful, I’m afraid.” She ran her fingers over her face. “Do I look as dreadful as your expression hints?”
Charlotte grabbed her hand and pulled her out of her room and down the corridor. “I’ll fix it for you.”
Genny laughed. “How can you possibly fix it?”
“You promise not to be angry or to so much as whisper a word about what I’m going to share with you?”
Genny covered her mouth in shock, eyes wide, as she considered the possibility that her cousin did such a thing. “You don’t.”
“Shush.” Charlotte looked quite perturbed. “You’ll inform the whole household with the way you’re going on about it.”
“I’d never tell anyone. No one else knows, I hope.”
Charlotte shook her head. “Not a soul.”
How was it that she’d never known Charlotte’s propensity for maquillage? She’d lived with her for nearly eight months, and at some point, one would think that a secret such as this would be revealed. Especially since Genny spent the greater portion of her day in Charlotte’s company.
“The best way to make someone keep a secret is to make them an accomplice. I plan to disguise your sleepless night so no one but us need know that you’re a ragged mess without a proper night of rest.”
Her cousin clicked the lock over once they entered her room. Charlotte rushed over to the white vanity, painted to match the light decor of the room. Tiny pink roses and green vines were patterned in the wallpaper and in the canopy above the bed. It was a beautiful, cheery room and perfect for any young lady.
Her cousin slid out the drawer and retrieved something wrapped and tied tight in pale linen.
“Well, why are you standing over there?”
Genny hadn’t moved from the door.
“I’m not sure about this. We aren’t even of the same complexion.” Genny brushed her fingers over one of her cheeks.
“Posh. Now, come and sit in front of the mirror so I can have a good turn at painting your face.”
Genny sat on the cushioned, tasseled stool. She was still quite shocked that her cousin—her beautiful, younger cousin—painted her face.
“And what if someone should notice what I’ve done?”
“Then you’ll promise not to say how you came to have such an item in your possession.”
“Why do you use paint, Charlotte? You are such a pretty young lady.”
“A pretty girl with freckles from sitting out in the back portico at the townhouse. No one goes out there but me, it seems, and so the necessities of hat, gloves, and even shoes are unheeded.”
“How did you ever learn about it?”
“How do you imagine?” At Genny’s shrug, Charlotte clarified, “Grandmamma, of course. She only wants the best for me and my being beautiful is what makes her happy, so I even out my complexion during the summer months.”
Her cousin pulled out a circular tin that contained a heavy whitish powder.
“You can’t mean to put that on my face. It must be four shades lighter than my complexion.” Genny screwed up her eyebrows, unsure that this was the wisest course to take.
“It’s not opaque, silly. And I do have every intention of putting it on you.”
“I’m not sure I’m convinced.”
Charlotte laughed at her hesitancy. “It won’t matter. We’ll cover the whole of your face and no one will be the wiser.”
“What if I should perspire?”
“Then you blot your face. Never rub it, even if a drop of rain were to fall upon it, you must dab it, and it will blend in with the powder.”
Her cousin dabbed on the heavy powder beneath her eyes using a small flat puff.
“This is pure insanity.” Charlotte distributed the powder evenly and took her time to cover the dark circles beneath Genny’s eyes. When that was done, she took out a small brush with soft bristles and removed the excess powder.
“Perhaps, but we are supposed to always look our best, even if we feel ill. Covering the flaws so that only I know they exist makes passing the day a whole lot easier for you and invites far fewer questions about your tiredness when you look perfectly fine.”
“I swear, Charlotte, you sometimes sound like a wise lady beyond her years, and it tends to put me out of sorts.”
“You’d be bored if I didn’t keep you on your toes.”
Genny smiled at the reflection of her cousin in the mirror. Maybe her cousin did know her very well and Genny hadn’t bothered to give Charlotte any reason to prove that she was a capable young lady.
“You still have this incredible proclivity for surprising me. And in the oddest of ways.” Genny turned her face from side to side marveling at how the powder blended in and looked natural.
“I told you no one would be the wiser.” Charlotte perched herself on the edge of the vanity with a sigh.
Genny reached out to touch her slightly improved reflection. The powder was barely perceptible. “My face feels a little stiff.” Before she could press the backs of her fingers lightly against her cheek, her cousin pulled her hand away.
“You cannot touch it. Even a small rub or brushing of your gloves might displace the powder.”
Genny didn’t need coaxing to lower her hand. To be caught wearing a beauty product like this would label her as having the morals of a stage actress. “I promise to ignore the slightest itch.”
“Keep a handkerchief in your reticule in case it rains.”
“And then excuse myself to your room should I need to reapply it.” Everything made a little more sense now. Genny could recall the many times that had happened over the course of the season.
“You know you are quite beautiful without the artifice?”
“So I’ve been told. I don’t wear a great deal of it, only enough to cover my dreadful freckles.”
“You’ll have to show them to me now so I can tell you how undreadful they really are.”
“You wouldn’t dare say so on seeing them. That you’ll have to trust me on.”
“You can trust me with your secrets. But if you wish to keep your freckles hidden, then that is fine as well.” Standing from the stool, she leaned in closer to the mirror to see if the powder was detectable. If someone were to stand six inches from her face, they might see a hint of the makeup, but it was well placed and nearly invisible otherwise.